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Where do I get money for a start-up business?

Q: I realise that most people are worried about their jobs, but I've pitched for, and been offered, an excellent service contract with a multinational. All I need is a van and some specialist tools. But who do I go to for the money -- I need about €25,000?

A: Obviously, you are aware that credit isn't as available as it was in previous years. The banks have had to tighten their lending criteria considerably and, arguably, many are not effectively open for business.

I would first advise you to ensure that you have done your homework in assessing whether or not this is a viable business opportunity.

You will need to make up the initial outlay before you will see any sort of profit. However, if, after running the numbers, you still feel that this is a productive investment, then my advice would be to actively seek out finance.

I would first begin with any financial institution with which you have a long-standing relationship.

Building good relations and trust with your credit union or bank can go a long way in a situation such as yours.

Also, while many banks do not currently have the funding to provide credit, credit unions throughout the country are not experiencing the same difficulties.

Credit unions are solvent and have funds to lend to those who clearly demonstrate their ability to repay the loan.

At present, credit union interest rates for loans are lower than the typical personal loan rate from banks, making them very attractive to existing and potential members.

I commend your pro-active approach in seeking out job opportunities that will further your financial position in the long term and I would advise you to exhaust all avenues before giving up hope.

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> Brian Douglas, manager, Greystones Credit Union

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